I'm a 37-year old Seattle girl who was bitten by the travel bug on my first tour of Europe in 2004. This personal blog follows my attempts to visit as many countries as I can, as often as my budget will allow. Since starting this blog in 2007, I've also worked as a freelance copywriter for an online travel publication. This only served to add even more must-see locations to my already extended list.
Follow me as I try to balance "real life" with exploring the world, all while trying to conquer a wickedly ironic case of homesickness.


Staying healthy

If there is one thing I feel I've perfected over the last eight years of international travel, it's my first aid/health kit. There is a fine balance between over-packing and being prepared. I like knowing I have just enough to get me through to a drugstore/chemist for whatever the problem may be. Whenever I travel, this is what I take with me. (not all items pictured, as I have some shopping to do!)

Staying healthy on the plane
Recycled airplane air is horrible, and the planes aren't really cleaned very well between flights. I'm one of those people that always used to catch a cold after flying. Here is how I learned to win that battle:
- Travel-size Lysol spray (spray seat upholstery/head rest upon boarding)
- Travel-size antibacterial wipes (wipe down everything else upon boarding)
- Ocean saline spray (keeps nasal passages moist; fights airborne illness)
- Antibacterial soap (airplane bathroom soap is a joke, and it smells horrible!)
- Antibacterial hand gel (to use before I eat if I can't get to the lavatory)
- Travel-size quality hand lotion (keep your skin hydrated, especially with all the antibacterial stuff you're using!)
- If I'm taking an overnight long-haul flight, I now bring a N95 grade face mask to block airborne illnesses while I’m sleeping. It seems silly, but it really works!

Fighting jet lag
Sleep is vital to staying healthy, but jet lag doesn't have to ruin a holiday:
- Melatonin (helps your sleep cycle transition naturally)
- Diphenhydramine HCI (name brand: Simply Sleep) for when melatonin isn’t enough

First aid
We always exert ourselves far more on holiday than we do on normal days. This leads to sore/fatigued muscles and sometimes some scrapes and bruises:
- (2) large Band-Aids/elastoplasts
- (2) small Band-Aids/elastoplasts
- Tube of Neosporin
- Travel-sized container of Aleve
- Small tube of Icy Hot
- (2) heat therapy patches (also doubles to keep you warm on a cold plane)

Food related illnesses
New cuisines often trigger indigestion, diarrhea or constipation, as your body processes something it's not familiar with. That doesn't mean you can't eat well:
- Pepto Bismol or Imodium AD tablets
- Travel size bottle of Tums
- (1) sheet of ranitidine tablets (acid reducer)
- (3) to-go packs of Benefiber powder

Those darn pesky colds/flus
As previously mentioned, this is the area I have the most experience with. These items should keep you going so you don't have to miss any of your trip:
- (2) Emergen-C or Airborne
- Travel-size bag of cough drops
- Enough cold medicine/fever reducer for a full day and night
- Vicks Vapor inhaler
- (2) Breathe Right strips (to help you sleep better)
- Small vial of peppermint oil
- 3 oz container of salt (to gargle with hot saltwater)
- (3) Travel-sized packs of quality tissues
- (3) bags of Organic Throat Coat tea

This list is in addition to normal things like lip balm and daily vitamins. And before you think this is excessive, consider that - when packed carefully - all these items fit easily into a small toiletries bags and a TSA-approved Ziploc. After the flight, they can easily be transferred from carry-on to day bag:

This homemade kit has saved my sanity countless times. Every item has been used at least once, whether it was for myself or someone I was traveling with.

I also advise bringing some non-perishable food items to keep your blood sugar up throughout your trip, since timely meals aren't always guaranteed when you're traveling. I like to bring protein bars, dried fruit, granola and/or nuts. I also like instant breakfasts packets. Add to a cup of milk and you'll be full for hours!

What about you? What is in your travel health kit?

1 comment:

Christy said...

will you pack for me always?

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